2237-01-11 - No News and Good News

Van has news for Cate -- not all of it bad -- and an offer for Danica.

Date: 2237-01-11

Location: Chapel, Deck 9, Battlestar //Galactica//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 944

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Van has been asking around for Cate, and while some people simply respond with 'Who?' there are plenty who do know the medic, especially among the Marines, and the pilot is rapidly directed toward the chapel. He carries a small tablet under one arm, and as he steps into the holy space, he bows his head, murmuring softly, "Lords of Kobol, hear my prayers." There is a moment of quiet whispers as he offers up those prayers, and then he lifts his head and looks about for the object of his hunt.

It is a successful hunt, apparently, for Cate is indeed here. She's sitting in one of the pews near the back, although on the far side. Her eyes are directed toward the front, but there's no sermon going on there. Instead she just looks lost in thought. She doesn't notice Van immediately

Van approaches a little hesitantly, glancing around to ensure that he isn't going to to interrupting anyone else but the medic. And then he merely settles into the pew alongside Cate, folding his hands over the face-down tablet and waiting for her to finish whatever prayers or thoughts might be consuming her with all outward indication of patience -- beyond a little twitch of fingers as if looking to ash a cigarette that is not between them.

The approach of someone to her pew drags Cate's attention back from a million miles away, and she looks that way just as he sits down. There's a flicker of surprise, but then a friendly smile. "Hey Newton," she says, keeping her voice quiet as befitting the locale.

Van bobs his head in greeting, murmuring, "Doc." He hesitates a moment, then adds, "I didn't mean to interrupt..." the young man's words are quiet in deference to the location, "...but I finally heard back from someone in Picon Naval personnel."

"Oh, no it's okay. I just come here sometimes after shift." She doesn't elaborate as to why, but her solemn expression suggests it's not all funsies. When he mentions personnel though, she sits up a little straighter, attentive. But then seems to pick up on his hesitation, and the fact that he doesn't look particularly joyous. And so the doctor braces herself for the worst. "You did?" she asks tentatively.

Van glances up toward the altar, nodding slightly in agreement with her statement. The question, however, causes him to nod, turning the tablet face-up and thumbing it on to display a section of a mail, "I have some no-news, and some slightly-good news." His brows rise slightly, waiting for her to prompt him to continue, and then he does, "Mute is still listed as MIA, but Dub connected with a guerrilla band in occupied territory."

Cate does nod to prompt him to go on. Hearing the last, her throat bobs, brow creasing. She breaks her eyes away from his to look forward once again at the front, not saying anything for a minute. Then, in a soft somber voice, she says, "Thanks for checking for me."

Van offers out the tablet so she can read the sparse report that he got back if she wants to, "It's been a while since the last report from that group, but at least there's some information, and still hope, right?" He shifts the tablet to his left hand so that he can reach out with his right, aiming to set it on Cate's near shoulder, "That's something, right?"

Cate and Van are sitting in one of the pews near the back, on the far side from the door. He's just put a hand on Cate's shoulder, and she's looking like someone who's struggling to keep her composure, a sad cast to her features. She takes the offered tablet and tries to look over the report, but her brain isn't really registering the words. "It's been over a year, Newton. He had Daisy with him - his niece. She was only eleven. He would've moved mountains to get her out of there to safety." Hope is apparently in short supply with the doctor. "At least Thad made it out."

"Maybe he couldn't get any further than that, Doc." Van keeps his voice quiet, his hand squeezing at her shoulder gently, "Sometimes the safest place to be is just hunkering down and not drawing attention from the toasters." He hesitates a moment longer, then adds, "Hope is in short enough supply, I don't think you should give up on it yet."

Danica enters, moving in a manner that suggests that she was expecting an empty chapel by which to meditate unhappily at the altar at Aphrodite. But, the voices as she's crossing the threshold make it decidedly unempty and Danica hesitates, the box of incense she was probably intending to lite as part of her altar tending duties switched from one hand to the next. "Oh uh...," she hesitates, looking from Van to Cate. "I can... come back?"

"A year hunkering down in occupied territory trying to keep a kid alive isn't exactly what I'd call something to hope for," Cate replies bleakly. She chews her lip for a moment before looking over at Danica. "Oh. Hey Gopnik." It's a subdued greeting. "No, no, it's -" She waves a hand. 'Fine' would've gone there but the doctor's not feeling very fine. "Go ahead. Free chapel."

Van glances up as Danica enters, offering a nod, "Gopnik. Hello." Polite, but distracted. He nods again as Cate invites the other Picon in, and Van adds his own 'come on in' gesture. Looking back to Cate, he shrugs slightly, "But they both made it through Triton. Sure, that was only six months, but we also had the full and undivided attention of thousands," he assumes, "of toasters. They can find a hole and pull it closed behind them out in the countryside."

Misery is going around it would seem by the way Danica watches Cate look miserable. She shifts her weight, her braced left hand stuffing the square box of incense into a pocket of her duty greens. "...you sure?," she looks at Cate with a grimace that extends to Van, next. "I came close to cryin' all of Aldrich the other day. I'm not gonna deny a girl a right to cry all ugly in here, seems like the place for it," she adds as she looks at Van again with a nod of greeting. "Hey Milkman," she begins, before her own expression falls for at the word 'Triton'. Oh, it seems to say as if now understanding the possible subject mater, Picon.

"They would've stuck together unless things got completely frakked," Cate murmurs, looking away and taking a breath. She rubs at her face and then shrugs. "Appreciate you trying to look on the bright side, Newton." Even if the good doctor is still dubious, she does offer him a look of sad gratitude. It's slanted Danica's way next, although it's tempered by confusion. "Aldrich?"

Van shrugs slightly at Cate's response, "Things were completely frakked, but six months after the Fall, Dub was still kicking. So..." he shrugs a little helplessly, "And apparently I've got to look on the bright side." The male pilot grimaces slightly in response to the use of his callsign, but it's a minor thing, like a finger brushing over a old scar rather than an open wound. "Trying to track down a couple of other survivors," he explains to Danica, "But things are so frakked up back home..." he trails off into another helpless shrug, "And I don't think anyone should deny a girl the right to cry wherever she wants. Or a guy."

"Oh, uh, yeah, the new Chaplain," Danica indicates with one hand towards the altar for Zeus, as if that god has anything to do with it. "I dunno, he's here to save Cadmus from a life of black market kidney theft or whatever," she adds, quietly as if that's really what he's here to do. There's a moment where Danica looked to be actively avoiding saying anything about the subject of Picon, so maybe that's what her diversion into Cadmus is about. She looks around the room a little helplessly, nodding to Van at the mention of tracking down survivors. Her shoulders suddenly framed in a new found tension. "Yeah, I heard that can be tough," she contributes, lifelessly.

Now Cate is completely confused. But hey, it helps distract her from the dampness in her eyes, so she's not really complaining. "Kidneys? What?" Van gets a distracted nod to acknowledge his words, but she doesn't respond immediately.

Van shakes his head, "Black market kidney theft? I rather doubt it, considering how much of a stickler for the rules Doctor Cadmus is." And then doubt flickers through his eyes, "...well... mostly. I suppose there he did mention knowing which regulations to break." It's a convenient diversion from thinking about the picture stuck to the divider beneath his bunk of his sister and sister-in-law, and of the members of his Academy class, and of the stadium... Van's shoulders shake a moment, and he looks down, drawing in a breath before he notes, "You want the room, Gopnik? I can duck out... I just wanted to give Doc the news."

"Oh, nah, I can come back or ...sit with her if you gotta bail, Milk?," Danica states, no further commentary provided for the exact wherefore of Cadmus' loyalty to medical protocol and rules or his apparent life of crime. She smiles at Van and Cate, though Cate seems to get a slightly softer version. Already moving, Danica sits down in the row of pews ahead of the two, sitting to the side to look at them.

"Yeah, I think Cadmus would need a form stamped in triplicate for something like that," Cate mumbles, trying to join in the exchange even if her heart's not quite in it. Hearing that breath, though, she reaches out to clap Van's arm reassuringly in return for his similar gesture earlier.

Even if he's not quite convinced, Van looses his hand from Cate's shoulder when she claps his arm, nodding sharply, "At least three forms, I think. But yes, in triplicate." He considers a moment, "One for the initial surgery, one for removal, one for sale." He shakes off Danica's offer slightly, then looks back to Cate, "Or am I missing any, Doc?"

"Dude's got a robot heart, pretty sure," she confirms with a gentle smile that bids on Cate's humor, aiming to cheer her before her gaze shifts to Van. "So....," she continues, the word drawn out. "How's everything?" The inquiry comes with a slightly slanted smile, as if the mood isn't the mood at this moment.

Cate lets her hand drop back to her lap. "Yeah, three sounds about right. But nah - Cadmus isn't heartless, that I can say for sure." The question about everything gets a hand waved in a what-can-you-do shrug. How's the wrist doing?'

"There's nothing wrong with sticking to the regs," protests Van. "It's done me just fine." He gestures over to Cate, supporting her statement about Cadmus, and then shrugs a little uncomfortably at Danica's question, "Aside from working too hard and nearly getting all of Saral buried under megatons of water?" He shrugs again, looking almost bashful this time, "Good, actually."

"Yeah, I've fully adapted to flicking the bean with the other hand now," she informs Cate dryly, as if this is some major accomplishment before she shrugs. "Yeah, it's alright. Maybe another week or two and I can push buttons on a Raptor without this," she adds, more thoughtfully. Danica grins back at Van, nodding. "You saved all those Saral-uns lessons on how to swim," she states in agreement.

Van coughs at Danica's first comment, and a light blush rises to his cheeks, but he doesn't seem particularly uncomfortable, more surprised than anything else. And he sallies forth with, "Lefty always feels odd." And then he's on to more sober topics, as Cate withdraws into herself for the time being, and he grimaces, "Not me, necessarily. I got there late. If we weren't all overworked already, I'd suggest to the CAG that we make the CAP stronger. Then again, if we weren't all overworked already, I'm sure the CAG would have already made the CAP stronger."

Danica nods, listening and mercifully perhaps not forcing the blushing Van back on to the topic. Maybe its the chapel environment? "...I didn't go at all," she admits but with a gesture that seems to say: but Raptors, so. "I haven't really done any real missions since I spiked my bus, mostly just greyhounding around Galactica and whatever. But I get it, they want to make sure I'm not gonna turn into a basketcase or fall out of the sky again, so-," she says, shifting in her seat a little. "I heard a rumor we might be leaving Tauron soon?," she continues, perking up slightly at this one among the constant swirl of ship rumors.

Van shakes his head slightly, "I was on Alert Five. If I barely got there in time, there was no way anyone else was going to make it." In other words, 'don't beat yourself up over not being there.' "They put me through the head-shrinkers too, after I went belly-down a couple of times at Triton. It wasn't so bad, once I got used to it." The rumor, however, causes his eyebrows to loft, "I hadn't heard that though." Despite his surprise and interest, he keeps his voice quiet in respect for the chapel, "Do they really think that the front here is stable enough, or..." a frown starts to gather, "...is there somewhere else that needs our help even worse do you think?"

Danica shrugs bafefully. "I'unno," Danica admits with a touch of helplessness that there's no confirmation forthcoming that they won't have to stare at Tauron's moon anymore. "I mean, it's rumors right? I also hear on average 2-4 theories on who is banging who this week, fight that didn't happen, fights that did happen that are way overblown, and that a human finger was in the mess food, so y'know...," she adds, shrugging a little sheepishly. "But, yeah, I mean the psych evals are fine. I'm super gettin' in touch with my feelings," she declares with wrinkle of her nose that perhaps expresses her fondness for feelings.

Van clears his throat a little at the 'who is banging who this week' comment, but nods his head quickly, "The rumors do seem to go around, don't they? And I'm going to pretend that I didn't hear you mention the finger, because I liked the chili the other night."

"I mostly stick to the salad bar and the jello," Danica admits with a slight edge to her grin. "But yeah, the rumors... kinda keep things moving. It doesn't help that most of it's false hope, though." The grin moves to a kind of grimace. "...the shore leave rumors are brutal. I try not to listen to those ones, so I don't get heartbroken."

"Shore..." the word is nearly a groan from Van, "Don't get me wrong. The pool is great, and Lake Illi is beautiful, but what I wouldn't give for a real ocean shore. I think all the salt-water has leaked out of my blood." Van looks back over his shoulder in the direction that Cate departed, "If that one is true, I think I would kiss boots."

"I... don't miss home that much." Danica admits, slowly and carefully after a long silence that pretty much occurs with her looking ashamed before she says it. "I mean, I do but ...I don't? There's... nothing left there for me, now. And- it's just.. y'know, full of the dead." Her eyebrows flicker upwards at Van, before she frowns. "Sorry, I just should have said: yeah, totally, I miss the beach, too."

That sobers Van again, and he nods slowly, looking down at his thumbed-off tablet for a moment, "I understand that. I suppose I'm lucky because Cape Bismark," a small city on the coast south of the equator, "hasn't seen a toaster. At least not yet. That's why I want to get back there -- with this beautiful beast of a ship -- before it comes to that." There's a moment where it seems like he's going to poke deeper into Danica's business, and then he shrugs his shoulders, "I'm due at the squadron offices in five, but if you want to talk, about home, about action against the Toasters, whatever... let me know. I know things get a little crazy after your first real fight... if you had your first here on Galactica."

Danica nods, offering him a soft smile. "First, here, yeah. I mean, if you'd told me a couple years ago I woulda been a pilot, I would have laughed at you." She pauses for a moment. "Well, probably not because I would have been too high to hear you through being convinced that I could hear my mom's voice underwater. So." She shrugs amiably and for her own life. "But yeah, we should talk more Milkman. Slumming it with a Raptor pilot will give you street cred," she teases, waggling her eyebrows at him a little before sliding him a grin that pokes at him gently.

Van shakes his head at her teasing, "I was a Raptor pilot for a tour with the ICJPK before Viper training, Gopnik." He rises to his feet, tucking the tablet under one arm and clapping Danica on the shoulder briefly, "I'll look you up some time when we're both off-duty. Hang in there." And then he's turning away to depart the chapel.


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